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Principal Opportunities

At Chicago Public Schools, our mission is to provide a high-quality public education for every child in every neighborhood, that prepares them for success in college, career, and community. This important work is grounded in our Five-Year Vision: 2019 -2024, created to align our efforts and provide a clear sense of our priorities for all stakeholders.

CPS Principal Expectations

To fulfill our mission, we seek innovative, entrepreneurial, results-oriented school leaders with a deep sense of responsibility and commitment to the students in their schools and to the communities in which their schools reside.

CPS Principals are key levers for change and are critical to the success of our schools.

CPS principal expectations are in accordance with the CPS Principal Competencies.

Principal Expectations chart

The CPS Performance Standards for School Leaders Rubric with Critical Attributes organizes the work of a principal with standards that fall under each of the five competencies.

Principals receive two formal observations conducted by their Network Chief. All Network Chiefs are certified as principal evaluators by the Illinois State Board of Education. After the observations, evaluators provide feedback to and share collected evidence with principals. Each principal has the opportunity to set goals with their Network Chief and submit a self-assessment.

CPS Principal Requirements

CPS Principal Eligibility

BOARD POLICY 14-0723-P01

CPS requires that all principal candidates earn CPS Eligible status in order to be offered a Uniform Principal Contract. This policy applies to all candidates, both internal and external, and ensures that schools have the most qualified principal candidates prepared to succeed from the first day on the job.

CPS Principal Eligibility Process (Eligibility) is administered by the Department of Principal Quality. If you are unsure if you are eligible, please email CPSLeaders@cps.edu or call 773-553-1515.

Active ISBE Endorsements

  • General Administrator (K-12) Principal Endorsement

Residency Requirements

BOARD POLICY 18-0627-PO4

All employees of the Chicago Public Schools must adhere to the Residency Policy for All Employees of the Board of Education. All officers and employees hired on or after the date of the residency policy will be required to be residents of the City of Chicago within six months from the day their employment begins.

How to Apply

To apply, complete and submit the CPS Principal Candidate Application Form and attach your resume, cover letter, and other materials requested by the advertising LSC. Additional attachments will not be accepted. Submit a separate application form with material for each individual school to which you are applying. All materials must be in PDF format only. (Save your document in PDF format prior to submission.)

Principal positions are generally posted for two weeks and may be posted again after the application deadline or upon request by the LSC. Candidates do not need to reapply for reposted positions.

Note, the Department of Principal Quality or the Department of Local School Council Relations cannot provide updates to candidates on the status of their application.

Find out more information about individual CPS schools on the School Profiles page.

Find out more information about Local School Councils role in principal selection.

Visit the Department of Principal Quality for more details.

LSC Principal Selection Process

Each Local School Council (LSC):

  1. Determines position requirements and additional application materials based on the vision, mission, goals and needs of the individual school.
  2. Receives all qualified candidate resumes and applications within three (3) business days following the Application Deadline along with verification of each candidate’s Eligibility status.
  3. Determines their own interview process and timetable.
  4. May vote to select a principal candidate at any time following initial screening of candidates but often hold multiple interviews in order to select the most qualified candidate for their school. Many LSCs host candidate forums which are an opportunity for the school community to meet finalist candidates.
  5. Will contact candidates directly to schedule and conduct interviews for their school.

LSCs: Please follow Principal Posting Instructions and Principal Posting Template. Deadline to submit post is Tuesdays by 4pm.

Non-Discrimination Statement

It is the policy of the Board to prohibit unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation on the basis of any protected category by the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Illinois and applicable federal, state or local laws or ordinances, including but not limited to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), specifically, but not limited to, discrimination, harassment or retaliation on the basis of sexual orientation, gender or sex (includes gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and pregnancy related medical conditions), race or ethnicity, ethnic group identification, ancestry, nationality, national origin, religion, color, mental or physical disability, age, immigration status, marital status, registered domestic partner status, genetic information, political belief or affiliation (not union-related), military status, unfavorable discharge from military service, or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics in the educational programs or activities the Board operates.

Concerns or inquiries regarding sex discrimination, harassment or retaliation can be made to the Board’s Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Student Protections (OSP) or the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

For incidents involving student victims, please see below for specific contact information:

  • Office of Student Protections and Title IX (OSP) at 773-535-4400 (student-to-student) (Inquiries regarding sports equity should be directed to ospcompliance@cps.edu)
  • Office of Inspector General (OIG) at 833-TELL-CPS (833-835-5277) (adult-to-student) 
  • U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at 312-730-1560  or ocr.chicago@ed.gov 

For incidents involving adult victims, please see below for specific contact information: 

  • Equal Opportunity Compliance Office (EOCO) at 773-553-1013 or eoco@cps.edu
  • U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at 312-730-1560 or ocr.chicago@ed.gov

Concerns or inquiries regarding discrimination, harassment or retaliation involving student victims on the basis of disability should be made to:

Concerns or inquiries regarding discrimination, harassment or retaliation on the basis of any other protected category listed above should be made to:

  • Principal of Student’s School (student victims)
  • Equal Opportunity Compliance Office (EOCO) at 773-553-1013 or eoco@cps.edu (adult victims)

For further information see the Board’s Comprehensive Non-Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Policy.

Non-Discrimination Statement

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